fabrice pellegrin: 2 posts

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay : Perfume Review

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The latest Jo Malone fragrance—Blackberry & Bay—is categorized by the maker as “fruity,” but on my skin it’s far more interesting than that.  Blackberry & Bay fully succeeds in conjuring a fantasy English countryside and more precisely a rambling walk down a country lane, with healthy flush to the cheeks and solid walking shoes for skirting muddy patches. Somewhere along this dream excursion there is naturally a hedgerow from which appear fat black berries, their juice tart and edging on sour, their leaves green and sharp.  Just when I found a hole in my fragrance wardrobe, just when I lamented finding a fragrance that would uncannily recreate a specific holiday sensation, up pops this beauty from Jo Malone.

blackberry-bay

I will confess that I don’t pay all that much attention to the Jo Malone line.  While I love the Red Roses bath oil, I often find the colognes to have standout notes that don’t do much for me, whether that be the smell of stables in Pomegranate Noir or the strong citronella (mosquito candle) in the aforementioned Red Roses.  I wondered if Blackberry & Bay would not be a sweet and musky thing but hearty and possibly “masculine” thanks to a dose of bay leaves.

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Diptyque Volutes : Perfume Review

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Scarves are my favorite accessories. I love the way the sheer organza feels on my shoulders in the summer. The warm heft of a thick, cable-knit wool feels comforting on blistering cold days in the winter. My work uniform of jeans and black sweater can be easily spiced up with a piece of silk in cobalt blue or the Russian style tasseled square in red.  In an overlap with my sartorial wardrobe, I have a whole category of fragrances I categorize as my “scarf” perfumes. They usually stay close to the skin and have a warm, smoky drydown. To smell them on me, you would have to lean in close, and I love the intimate aura they create.

One such warm and smoky contender has been Diptyque Volutes, which I’ve been testing over the past couple of weeks. Volutes in French means swirls, as in swirls of smoke, and as Volutes unfolds gently on skin and wraps me in its warm embrace, it indeed makes me think of sweet cherry scented tobacco. The story behind Volutes is of the transatlantic journeys one of Diptyque’s original founders, Yves Coueslant, used to make as a child, crossing from Marseille to Saigon and back. The vision of the “elegant ladies leaning on the ship’s rail smoking their Khedive cigarettes” inspired this languid perfume. These ladies must also have worn Shalimar, because this Guerlain classic was my immediate association with Volutes.

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